Nourish Your Winter Skin with this Winter Body Oil using a Warm Oil-Infusion Method

Reader Contribution by Sarah Hart Morgan
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I used a funnel and coffee filter to strain my oils as I had tiny bits of plant materials in my oil.

We are in the height of woodstove season here in Virginia and my skin is feeling it! Tight, dry, and itchy at times. I have shared the Body Oil formula that is in my book before on my website, and while that formula is perfect for the warmer months, my skin has been craving a little more nourishment, so I got to work raiding my apothecary and kitchen cabinets to create a winter skin loving body oil.  

The Formula

I always suggest working in percentages, it makes it easier to convert to the actual measurements once you know how much product you are actually wanting to make. For my purposes, my jar of oil is 20oz total so all I have to do to figure out actual measurements is to take 20oz and multiply it by the % of oil used to figure out the total oz of that oil.  The base formula for this body oil is:

  • 30% Avocado Oil
  • 30% Almond Oil
  • 20% Olive Oil
  • 10% Castor Oil 
  • 10% Grapeseed Oil
  • 1% of your total weight of Vegetable Glycerine* optional 

Feel free to tweak this to your own liking using what you have readily available to you.

Infusing Herbs and Plants for Added Nourishment

I added a hodgepodge of plants and herbs to this infusion, a little bit of this and a dash of that. I allowed my intuition to guide me in the process and I advise you to do the same- it always knows best.  I included dried rose hips, chamomile, elderflowers, red clover, yarrow, tulsi, wild rose, plantain, and oatmeal. I wish you could have smelled my mortar and pestle once I was done grinding it all up because it smelled incredible! 

Normally, I like to allow the herbs to infuse in the oil for about 4 to 6 weeks; however, I was in a time crunch. I only had about 3 days worth of body oil left so I opted for a warm infusion instead. 


I added the herbs and oils into a large jar and with the lid off I infused the jar in a water filled crockpot on the low setting for 24 hours. It’s important to infuse without the lid on your jar as you don’t want condensation to mix with your oils because it will spoil the oil. Similarly, you can also do this in a larger dehydrator with the temperature between 100 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit for anywhere from 1 to 24 hours.You can also skip the jar altogether and just infuse the oil directly in the crockpot.  I used a funnel and coffee filter to strain my oils as I had tiny bits of plant materials in my oil.

At this stage, you can use the oil as is or add in any of your favorite essential oil blends for an added skin-loving boost. I like a mix of lavender, patchouli, and frankincense myself so I can skip the commercial perfumes!

I’d love to know how you use this formula to create something that works for your skin. Let me know what types of plants or herbs you use in the comments below. Happy formulating!

Sarah Hart Morganis an artist, photographer and author ofForrest + Thyme Apothecary: simple skin care formulas you can make uniquely your own. She lives in the Shenandoah Valley, where she works with foraged plants in her skincare and apothecary products, camera-less photography, using plants as a developing agent in film photography, and creating natural inks for painting. Connect with Sarah onher website, Instagram, FacebookandPinterest. Read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWSposts here.

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